Premium seats on the cheap and techniques to get you there


a380 apartment

If you’ve been looking to book seats up front, read on for the Frequent Miler Week In Review Around the Web. This week, we have some award chart sweet spots and ideas about reselling in addition to some other great reads from around the Internet. Enjoy!

If you have zen-like patience and have accepted the hang up, call again philosophy as a way of life, there were two posts this week that might pique your interest as much as they did mine.  First up, Gary Leff writes about how you can enjoy an excellent business class seat from Prague to Seoul for less than 26k miles one-way.  If you’re into trips that are tough to book, an equally enticing read is Travelling the World’s post about booking an Etihad A380 apartment for just 35k Starpoints. Success may not come easily, but at those prices your persistence could really pay off.

For those looking to grow their point balances in order to book tickets like those, buying items and reselling them can be one useful technique.  Harlan at Out and Out wrote this week about his results buying and selling Kohl’s small appliances. My problem with these cheap-after-rebate appliances is the time invested in cutting out UPCs and filling out rebate forms.  I don’t often find the profit (be it money or miles) to be worth the time invested — I’d rather buy Sears items that are 100% back in points and skip the rebate forms if I’m looking to resell cheap stuff.  But the most relatable point for me was the lack of response on Craigslist. I just don’t get a lot of action there any more and have been testing out a number of other platforms for selling locally. I’ve yet to find a great replacement.

Of course, there are other ways to build up your mileage balance, and Vinh at Miles per Day argues that 2017 is the year of gift card arbitrage. I think I agree.  There are a lot of points to be made through extreme stacking. There can also be profit in reselling merchandise — but that takes time, effort, and risk. Everyone loves pajama points and gift cards can be a great way to earn those.  Make no mistake: this isn’t a no-risk avenue to earning points. But considering the numerous opportunities to buy gift cards at a nice discount, it’s worth exploring.

Another way to book premium cabin tickets on the cheap can be with Memership Rewards.  The Amex Business Platinum pay-with-points 50% rebate is quickly turning Membership Rewards into my favorite program. Low premium-cabin airfares mean that many trips can cost fewer Membership Rewards points than they would if booked with airline miles (with the added bonus of not being restricted to award availability). When factoring in the miles earned by flying on a paid ticket, there are some excellent values to be had.  But it gets better — Robert at Saverocity writes about stacking Amex insider fares with the 50% rebate to get even more value out of this benefit. I will definitely be on the lookout for these situations.

Out and Out’s story this week about how a $6 charge dropped his credit score 100 points gives us something entirely different to look out for.  This one blew my mind — not because of the effect on his credit score, but the way it happened.  I certainly hope he gets the situation sorted out and that he lobbies the CFPB for help if necessary. His post serves as a poignant reminder to be extra careful with recurring charges.

Finally, Jeff at TravelZork has us curious about collecting currency.  While we often talk in terms of URs or MRs, they certainly aren’t the only currencies worth collecting and it should be interesting to see where this series goes.

Hope you’re having a great weekend! Don’t forget to check back for Last Chance Deals, our weekly reminder of deals you need to consider before they’re gone.

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Great compilation thanks.